Monday, May 28, 2012

Eclipse, Generations, Babysitting, Birds, and Whooping Cough

Well, it's been quite a week!  (At least for me)  Full of lots of GOOD things.

First of all, in regard to the Whooping Cough situation.........all babies were given antibiotics immediately upon the confirmation of two of our grandbabies having the disease.   All children and adults who had any kind of symptoms were tested and put on antibiotics.   All who were tested came back negative. 

Lana is coughing far more than normal (for her, at least) but was not tested.  She was, however, given the antibiotic and so is no longer contagious, even if she does have Purtussis. confirmed new cases and everyone else seems to have come through the time frame where we  could be expected to have developed symptoms.  We are thankful for this - especially that none of the three babies were affected.

We continue to keep Lana and Baby in our prayers, however - she has been on 'light duty' for the past 4 weeks or so - her body began to be ready for birth much too early.  However, she is now past the 'premature labor' point and if Baby decided to be born today, he would be considered full term.  Still, if he could wait until Lana's cough is more under control, that would be nice.

But, because of the contagious disease situation, our long weekend was pretty quiet -

SUNDAY, May 20, Andrew, Candice, Jim, and I settled into the chairs to watch the Annular Eclipse of the sun.  We were too far north to see the 'ring of fire' which is charactaristic of this type of eclipse, but it was pretty cool to watch anyway.


Testing out the welder's glass we dug out of the barn.....

The birds gave us something to focus on while we waited.....

Has it started yet?

Although I took several photos of the moon passing over the sun, this is as close as they came to 'turning out'.......It was frustrating - looking through the viewfinder (and through the welder's glass), I could see the moon as plain as anything and.... SNAP....I'd take the photo.  This was the best, however.....

By the way, Vinjelu and Kathryn left for a 5 day holiday (with Chawezi) to Banff today.  Because we weren't sure if Andrew's bad cough was Whooping Cough, it was arranged that I'd babysit at their house but I would not be available until Tuesday.  The kids stayed at Vinj and Kath's friend's house Sunday and Monday.

MONDAY, May 21

Kathryn's birthday.  Victoria Day.

Jim had to work all day, preparing for 'Spring Meetings' next week.

I decided to tackle the layers of dust in my truck.

First, I cleaned the new seals around the back door, then I sprayed them with WD-40.  I then took my truck for a drive down the gravel road.

When I opened up the back doors, I could see where dust was coming IN......(even though the seals have been changed and the doors seem to be shutting properly - except that the 'door ajar' light is still lit on the dashboard......waiting on parts to fix the handle of the top door)

There were about 4 spots like this along the base of the doors....

Jim will be sending the photos to the guy that is working to fix my problem.

Besides this investigative work, I vacuumed and washed - from the back of the truck to the front.  I would not say it is CLEAN, but it is certainly cleanER.  I need a better attatchment on the vacuum to really say it is clean.

By the time I was finished, my injured right hand was throbbing and I was having problems holding on to the cleaning rag.  What can I say?  It's a big truck and my hand is not the same since I put it through a window last January.

Sometime during this activity, Jim's parents stopped by to say hello/goodbye.   They had arrived Friday, expecting to attend a 'wedding/anniversary celebration' on Saturday.  Instead, because of the quarantine, they spent the weekend at Mel and Ken's house.

While here, Candice asked for a 'Four Generation Photo' ......

Gus also had a visit with Great Gramma....


These dates include Daniel's birthday (May 24) but because of the 'stay away from family right now' edict, Krystal had planned a party with friends instead of family.  I missed being with my baby on his birthday - but I'm glad he had a celebration with friends.

Anyway.......I spent these days at the Muyaba's house with Seth and Taliah.  Suzie Q (my niece) came over twice so I could run a couple errands - first time was Tuesday.....I'd forgotten some important papers at home (I was working on some tax preparation while there).  

Sue made Seth happy by playing Mario with him on the Wii - enough that he actually got bored!

The first morning, I asked "What would you like for breakfast?  Cheerios?  Eggs?"  Seth's answer "Mucamucamoni" (Macaronni).  At first I argued that he could have that for lunch, he needed to choose a breakfast food at breakfast time.  He would not budge and I thought "What's the difference between cereal and macaronni?  They're both carbs and at least the macaronni doesn't have added sugar"  So.....Mucamucamoni it was.  (Kraft Dinner)

Here are some of our other activities.......



We painted 'statues' .....Seth chose the lion (big surprise there) Taliah chose an elephant, and I was left with a bear....

Then, we (and I use that term loosely) made puppets and played with them.....

Since it had been raining ALL day, the kids hadn't had much 'active' play so we went to Dairy Queen for supper - and so they could play in the indoor play park.   But supper first....

Then, play hard kids!

After play time......ICE CREAM!

Taliah, you will notice, ate her Dilly Bar the correct way - curly nose first.  LOL  She didn't eat more than about 5 bites, after that, though, then she was enticing Seth away to climb on the back of the booth....

Silly little girl....

Time to go.....get your shoes on!

Don't you love her 'princess dress' over her jeans?

Bath time brought a special treat......GLOWSTICKS and no lights on in the bathroom.......

These were a big hit!  Not so good for photos, though - unless you want just flashes of color - there are a few of those.

Then, there was "help Gramma cook and clean up"......Taliah was wearing her fancy 'princess dress' when she started to wash dishes but it got all wet so she soon asked me to take it off for her.....

Seth took his clothes off before they got all wet.  LOL.  He actually washed almost all the dishes - and did a pretty good job of it, too.

Vinj and Kath arrived home about 6 pm Thursday evening.  I hung around to hear about their holiday and listen to the kids tell about our adventures.

FRIDAY, May 25

Jim came home today - but I met him in Lacombe at a certain Antique store where I'd spent some time (and money) the week before.    In the interim, we had decided that we were ready to 'let go' of our big kitchen table - the 'Jesus Table' as Janice named it back when she was about 10 years old.  The table that holds so much history......years of home schooling all the kids around it.......uncountable company suppers and family meals........and more recently, grandchildren playing with play do, coloring, cutting on its surface and our family finally outgrowing its 4 ft by 8 ft size.   It's a hard thing to part with.

But, as I said......we no longer fit around our table so we might as well get a more 'normal sized' table for everyday and go with folding tables when the whole family is here.

This is the reason I met Jim in Lacombe - to choose a table for our kitchen.  I did not want just any old table, one that you could find in dozens of homes.  Jim wanted a solid wood table - something made with craftmanship.  The best place to find something that answers both our criteria is an antique store. 

I've looked around at Antique Stores off and on for several years and I knew that I wanted to add some pieces of furniture 'with character' to our home - especially after our living space is expanded (We're getting close to bringing the wall down, BTW).

Our rendevous was successful.  We chose a table (I'd had 3 picked out anyway from my previous visit) and arranged for delivery of it and the other large item I'd purchased last week.


Two events worth blogging about today.

First, we took delivery of our 'new old furniture'.

This is the piece I bought last week.  I think it is absolutely gorgeous.  And in case you are wondering, it is a sideboard......and it will go in the dining room, beside the table.

Anyone have any idea of when this piece may have been made?  There is a tag inside that says 1962 but .... really?  Those door handles don't look like the 60's to me.  40's maybe? 

I also purchased 2 of these chairs - just because they are so lovely.  The design is called "pressback" because it was pressed into the wood.

We asked Dan and Krystal to come out and 'help' set the new table up - mostly because we knew Daniel would be excited about the purchase of antiques - and would greatly appreciate the workmanship.

First, the old table had to be disassembled so it could be moved out.....

In fact, it turned out that they had to remove the top sheet of plywood in order to make it of a weight that they could even carry out of the house.....

Notice the brace on Dan's wrist?  He has a pretty bad case of carpal tunnel and so is off work ..... well, he is sort of on 'modified duty' so he's not technically 'off',  just can't do his regular tasks at work.

I include this photo of Jim putting the base on the table so you can see the lovely legs on this beauty.

And here it is, all set up with six chairs.   It is alot bigger than I expected (even though I saw it set up in the store).  We could probably seat 8 at this table - without adding the leaf. 

Be sure to click on the photo so you can see it in a larger format - then check out the unique grain.  This is a result of the way it is cut.   (Quarter cut Oak)

I've never had such a nice table.  I think I better go get some coasters.  And placemats.  And hot pads.  We've never had to think about such least not since  we  screwed a piece of plywood to to the top of our dining room table.

Here's a photo of the full back of the extra chairs I love.....

The other thing of interest on this day has no photo. 

There's just no way to 'ease ' into this news.

There is a nest of baby birds living on the top of our fridge.

Before you get too excited, remember....we are living in our trailer just now.

Sidetrip......This is the third summer in a row that we've lived in our trailer for one reason or another (plus the summer of 2009).  This year, we don't need to live out here, our bedroom is sitting empty in the house, but we actually like it.  It is a cozy little space - just enough for the two of us - my desk (computer) is surrounded by windows, the shower is in our bedroom, I can open the window beside my bed and the cool evening breeze blows right across my face.

Plus.....we can hear the birds as if we are outside.   What is better than birdsong?

This year, we have the added sound of birds running across our roof - reminiscent of when we were in Zambia, listening to lizards skittering along on the tin roof of Vinj and Kath's house.    We could see that a pair of Brewer's Blackbirds were building a nest on top of the trailer - we thought under the satellite dish that we haven't used in years and years.  Or maybe under a solar panel.

Well......we found out differently on this Saturday in May.

End of Sidetrip.....

Back to bringing the statement about birds living in a nest on top of our fridge into perspective.   The top of our fridge is not inside our living space.

There is a space between the top of the fridge and the bottom of the cupboard above the fridge.  The fridge is vented to the outside.  The vent runs behind the  cupboard to the roof.  On top of the trailer is a vent. 

Obviously, Mommy and Daddy bird saw that vent as protection from the elements for their little family and now, we have baby birds on top of our fridge.

How do we know this?

We can hear them.  As soon as you walk into the trailer, you can hear the 'peep, peep' of hungry little birds.  Oh, it's cute now....give it a few days.  I know what baby birds sound like.  There was a time when my little boys brought home a plastic bag (yes, a plastic bag) containing 5 or 6 half grown baby birds.  The boys were so concerned for these little kidnapped babies (they'd found the bag of birds in the gutter) how could I tell them to just leave them to their fate?   So, we 'adopted' 5 fledgling birdies.  The boys hunted out food for the unfortunates, then took turns feeding them - all. night. long.  The birds never stopped 'chirping' for food.  ALL. NIGHT. LONG. 


I think by mid-morning all the birdies had died.

And my boys never asked to nurse baby birds again.

So, I know what to expect......the faint little peeps that we hear now will soon turn into a clamour.

But we will not be responsible for killing a whole family of babies.  They will be allowed to stay until they fly away.

Then, we'll be putting a screen or something over the opening of the vent so this little family does not return next year.

Along the same lines.......Andrew discovered a Robin's nest ON the weed-whacker which is hanging in the barn.  

Heavy Sigh.

Guess there won't be any weed whacking done this year.

Of course, that is not out of the ordinary.


Jan said...

Beautiful new table! I bet your dining room feels bigger?
The chairs are beautiful!

Dee Porterfield said...

Oh, Karyn,
I LOVE your new table and chairs. Old oak furniture is one of my favorites and your finds are gorgeous. I agree with your thoughts on the sideboard (which is beautiful, by the way). If it was made in the 60's it was definitely made in the style of Art Deco. It looks much more like something from the 40's or 30's to me.
Sure hope the little ones are feeling better and no one else has come down with the whooping cough. That has made the rounds in some of our schools here, too. And my...Seth and Taliah are sure growing. They are so lovely (don't tell Seth I said that. You can tell him I said he was very handsome.) Have a great week!

Jerralea said...

I love antique furniture! Your sideboard and table are gorgeous.

I guess you're the first person I know that has baby birds on top your fridge .... LOL.